For Sunday, July 12th - Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
A Message from the Interim Rector
As if the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t enough, these last several weeks have seen an enormous amount of energy and tension in our land revolving around race, law enforcement, and the conflicts within our society. The phenomenon of masses of people, all over the country and in the world, night after night, out on the streets with passion and conviction, has been stunning.
I think there are many layers to this that are obviously far beyond the death of one person – it is the incremental build-up of many such deaths of African Americans over the years. In Birmingham, Alabama there is a new memorial to the victims of lynching (totaling about 4,000, over time) and it strikes me that lynchings haven’t stopped – they just don’t use rope anymore. The tension in our society regarding the distancing, sheltering and shutdowns has also taken a psychological toll and no doubt adds a layer to a sense of “unrest.” More broadly, we live in a country that still struggles with white supremacy that remains as atmospheric tension that has never gone away. There have been significant increases in hate groups just in the last several years in the United States and most of them involve hate for people of color or who are “different.”
As far as law enforcement goes, I am mindful that I enjoyed very much being a police chaplain for five odd years in California and in Wyoming. I was chaplain for the Worland, Wyoming police department and also for the Law Enforcement Academy in Douglas, Wyoming where I taught five hours of their basic course for new recruits. From this experience I know that most police persons are good – even beautiful people. They can be incredibly kind and caring, although it is usually covered up with a “macho” veneer (and there’s female version of that for women officers!) that goes with carrying authority and not being allowed to show emotion or step out of the role they have to play with the public. But as with clergy who are guilty of abusing children, so it is that there are cops who abuse their authority and/or succumb to the prejudices of the society or local cultures in which they live. It makes all clergy and cops look bad. Whether racism is systemic in police departments is probably the wrong question. This is a better question: Is racism systemic in our culture? And the answer is, unfortunately, yes. Inevitably it will manifest itself in many places, circumstances, and occupations in addition to law enforcement. And, yes, there is a special sense of betrayal when a human being is abused by not just a “bad“ person, but by one who represents an agency that has promised to “protect and serve.”
For Christians who look on all of this, it is imperative we remember the words of St. Paul in the letter to the Galatians when he says that all of us who are baptized into Christ Jesus have taken on a new identity, being “clothed” in Christ. “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” To be baptized is to own a new identity. We are no longer Black or White, we are no longer police or civilian, we are no longer republican or democrat, we are no longer liberal or conservative. We are one in Christ Jesus. Period. There is only one human species on planet earth, and we all bleed the same red color.
Out of the ash heap comes new life. We are now passing through a time of Good Friday that can lead to Easter and we can pray that THIS time things will really change, and our nation will more closely reflect the love and justice of our God. Watching the news I saw police officers kneeling with protestors; I saw a Florida State police captain embrace an African woman in a wheelchair; I saw a police chief marching with the marchers and others holding up “Black Lives Matter” signs. What that slogan means, contrary to some comments, is that ALL lives matter. We are neither those who “matter” nor those who “do not matter.” We are all ONE in God’s unlimited love for ALL his children.
The Rev. Canon David L. Caffrey
Weekly Bible Sharing
With the Rev. Canon Eric H. F. Law
Thursday, July 16th
Join via Zoom: Click here to join meeting.
Or, join by phone: (408) 638-0968
Meeting ID: 101-690-960#
Book Club is Zooming!
The next Book Club meeting will be held Tuesday, August 4, 2020, at 1:00 PM, via Zoom; meeting logistics to follow.
For August, Book Club has selected Redhead by the Side of the Road: A Novel by Anne Tyler. This book is an intimate look into the heart and mind of a man who finds those around him just out of reach, a funny and compassionate story about seeing the world through new eyes.
New members are always welcome at Book Club meetings. For more information contact Alan Zimmerman at email@example.com.
Prayer Requests for Daughters of the King
Did you know that members of the Order of the Daughters of the King make a pledge to a life-long program of prayer, service, and evangelism? Part of every Daughter’s pledge is to pray daily for our sisters, our church, and our clergy. Our chapter here at St. Paul’s, like other chapters around the country and the world, maintains a confidential prayer list. The confidentiality of this list means that names on our list are never shared beyond our chapter members and Chaplain. If you would like to ask the Daughters to pray for you or someone else, you can email your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. The names will remain on the list for a month and can be renewed each month with another request.
Prayers of the Church
For the Anglican Communion, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, and for the united Church of Pakistan, The Most Rev. Humphrey Peters, Bishop of Peshawar, and Moderator of the Church of Pakistan.
For the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York, The Rt. Rev. Sean W. Rowe, Bishop.
For the Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; pray for the clergy and people of St. Francis, Pauma Valley.
For our Parish in Transition: Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (BCP p. 818)
For those commended to our prayers: Marie & Wayne Berkner, Joseph Bielanski, Nancy Martinez, Donna Saunders, Mike & Julie, Amanda Richard, Betty Muhleck, Brian Nealy, Barbara Nussbaum, Norma Westaway, and for all those for whom no prayers have been said.
For those who have died: Tom Schott, Theresa Sweeny, John Beckham, Mike Good.
For those with Birthdays: July 12: Jim McCullough, Bruce Moynagh; July14: Charles Hines, Nancy Clock, Christine Patterson, Donald Owen; July 15: Will Bodine; July 16: Diane Hines, Ciara Brown; July 17: Wayne Berkner; July 18: Tom Lutgen.
For those celebrating their anniversaries:July 12: Terry Garrity & Jim Redline; July 17: Raymond Gregory & Eric Ornelas, Bill LaMarche & David Valenazuela.
Send us your Prayer Requests via email — You may request prayers, “For those commended to our prayers” or “For those who have died,” by sending requests to email@example.com
For this Sunday’s Lectionary readings Click Here. From the calendar, select July 12th.
Part time parishioner Thomas Schott died July 4, 2020, following a long illness.
June 26, 2020
The Transition Committee has been working steadily to keep our search for a new rector moving forward. COVID-19 has had an impact on all organizations and as such our timelines have had to be adjusted. The Committee has met using Zoom meeting technology in order to move the work forward. I am pleased to report that we completed the Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT) in late March, and the Parish Listening Sessions in May. This mailing contains the Executive Report from Holy Cow! Consulting, and the compiled Summary Report of the In-Person/Email Listening Sessions for your review. A parish CAT Review Session scheduled after we are back having services and activities within the guidelines of social distancing.
Before you begin to read the CAT Executive Summary, please bear in mind:
- The data from this survey is not the end of our conversation, but the beginning.
- Holy Cow! Consulting has worked with over 600 congregations of all faiths and when congregation comparisons are made it is not an exclusive Episcopalian pool.
- This survey looks at the pattern of responses based on two types of drivers or focus:
- 1) Satisfaction with your church experience
- 2) Energy (or Excitement for worship/programs)
The Listening Sessions Report is a compilation of the two events (one in person and via email) held to hear the voices of our parish. The raw data collected has been edited into a summary of each question.
Information from both documents will be used to inform the completion of our Parish Profile and our Office of Transition Ministry (OTM) form. The profile provides potential candidates with concise information about our church and community. The OTM form provides standard information required of any parish in transition and will be posted by the diocese to the National Episcopal Church secure, password protected OTM site for prospective candidates. We are prayerful to have both completed and approved by Vestry and the Diocese by the end of July 2020.
The timeline of our work is posted in the Transition Update Archive
Your prayers are encouraged and appreciated,
Clinton L. Carbon
Convener, Transition Committee
From the Search Process Team
The process of seeking and calling a pastor to serve a congregation is one of discernment. For Christians, the goal of all discernment is seeking the will of God in each situation. The call process therefore seeks to know God’s will for the future mission and ministry of a congregation and who God chooses as pastor and shepherd for that ministry. It is God who chooses. It is the work of the Call Committee, the Vestry, the congregation, the priests interviewed and the Office of the Bishop to discern God’s choice and the Spirit’s leading.
Excerpted from Discerning God’s Will: The Basics of Discernment for Call Committees and Church Councils by the Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel (p. 1)
A Gift of Prayer for Transition from the Daughters of the King: Almighty and ever living God, hear our prayers for this parish family. You renewed us during Advent to receive Christ’s presence and You are preparing our parish for a renewed mission and vision. We thank you for the leadership of our interim rector, our Vestry and the members of our Transition Committee. We invite you, Holy Spirit, to guide and empower us and our Transition Committee as we begin the tasks of choosing a new rector for this parish. Grant that these servants become faithful companions to each other, to the vestry and to this Parish. We pray that you grant all of us the wisdom and discernment to choose a faithful pastor, who will help us continue to share the abundant life of Jesus Christ. This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fraud Email Alert
A recurring threat to churches is email-based impersonation scams targeting key personnel. The scheme involves cybercriminals mimicking clergy or other staff through the use of phishing emails. Criminals typically pose as personnel in positions of authority and ask victims to perform money transfers, pay invoices, or to send the attacker sensitive data. Scammers will often manipulate the “from” email address and name so that it appears to be coming from someone you know.
Churches and dioceses across The Episcopal Church and across other denominations have been a target of these email impersonation attacks. Scammers use a free email account (such as Gmail) and register it with an impersonated name. They then send an email to an unsuspecting recipient asking for immediate help in order to get a task done (such as purchasing a gift card or wiring money). Attention to detail can be a lot of help in combating cases of impersonation. Users should check sender details carefully. Any suspicious email message should be investigated before replying. Also, proper attention should be given to the message content, including attachments and URLs.
While there is no way to stop these scams, you can minimize risk by taking these steps:
- Check the return email address. If the address doesn’t match the name of the sender, be wary.
- Never open attachments from unknown sources.
- Be wary of generically addressed emails like “Dear Friend” or Dear Customer.”
- If there are links in the email, hover over them without clicking on them. This will show where the link will actually take you.
- Be wary of email with grammatical or spelling errors in the text.
- Check the address at the bottom of the email. If it says ”Pastor Jim” and Jim never goes by “Pastor,” it’s fake.
Finally, if after all these steps it looks safe and the sender is asking for money or access to secure data, call the person directly to get verification.
Your best defense for this is to simply delete the email; do not click on any links or reply to the sender.
Report clergy misconduct
As part of our ongoing commitment to creating a safe haven for everyone, our diocese trains people in the prevention of misconduct and encourages all to report misconduct. All reported incidences are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly and confidentially. If you believe you have experienced misconduct of any kind, please contact John Seitman, 858-793-4555 or Equilla Luke, 760-583-0485.
Compassionate Care Task Force
Our diocesan task force on compassionate care for victims of clergy sexual misconduct seeks to connect with those who have experienced misconduct. If you have reported clergy sexual misconduct and have information about the reporting or post-reporting experience that could be helpful to their work, please refer to the task force members, all of whom are listed on the diocesan website: Task-Force. Information on how to report misconduct is available here.
Church Office Hours
Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the Parish Office is closed to the public until further notice.
Office phone: 760.320.7488
If you call, please leave a message. In case of emergencies, a priest will return your call.
Bullying Behavior Not Welcome Here
At St. Paul in the Desert we welcome all worshipers to a place that is free of violence and bullying.
Physical, verbal or emotional violence against others or against oneself is not acceptable because of our understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. Please let Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as yourself be your guide.
“It Gets Better” is a series of video messages to encourage Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender youth and let them know that they are loved as they are.
“A Blessing for Those Who Are Bullied” was written by the Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, a Bishop of the Episcopal Church.
It is not enough to say “NO” to bullies. It is important to stand up for people and to provide resources for those who have been the targets.